Second-line therapy in advanced biliary tract cancer: What should be the standard?

Stefano Cereda, Carmen Belli, Alessia Rognone, Elena Mazza, Michele Reni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Biliary tract cancer is a rare malignant tumor. Accordingly, to perform prospective and randomized trials is difficult and the knowledge of its natural history and optimal management remains limited. Chemotherapy is commonly used to improve the outcome and to delay tumor progression in advanced disease. Only recently, cisplatin-gemcitabine combination was identified as the new standard first-line therapy. Despite the outcome improvement, disease progression is a constant and approximately half of patients failing upfront treatment maintain a good performance status and are willing to undergo further treatment. No standard salvage chemotherapy regimen has been identified yet. Experiences of salvage therapy in advanced biliary tract cancer are sparse and yielded disappointing results. Well designed multi-institutional randomized trials are warranted to clarify the role and the activity of a second-line therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368-374
Number of pages7
JournalCritical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


  • Biliary tract cancer
  • Chemotherapy
  • Progressive disease
  • Salvage therapy
  • Second-line therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Hematology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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